Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Overeating, asthma

August 2, 2009

An association between overeating and asthma attacks was reported by William Osler in 1880. Recent laboratory studies indicate that overeating, which causes distention of the stomach, induces respiratory changes which are compatible with broncho-constriction. (Journal of Asthma 22(4)191-193, 1985) Copyright 1985 Phylis Austin

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Full spectrum light, sickness in school children

August 2, 2009

Researchers replaced ordinary classroom lights with full-spectrum lights (sold as Vitalite) in three classrooms in a Vermont school. A survey of illness in children in these three classrooms revealed that they suffered less illness than students in other rooms in the school, and less sickness than students in these rooms had the previous year, with ordinary fluorescent lights.
The teachers liked the full-spectrum light, and considered it more natural. They did not wish to return to the former type of lighting at the end of the study period. (The Lancet 2:1205-1026, November 21, 1987) Copyright 1987 Phylis Austin

Caffeine use during pregnancy, low birth weight

July 30, 2009

Mothers who consume caffeine, whether in the form of coffee, tea, colas or various drugs, run the risk of delivering an infant with low birth weight. A study from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reveals that caffeine may cause growth retardation. (American Journal of Epidemiology 126(5)813-21, 1987) Copyright 1987 Phylis Austin

Children’s shoes

July 30, 2009

Purchasing shoes for children is often a difficult task for parents, as salespeople are not properly trained in this area. The debate has raged for years whether sneakers were adequate or would lead to permanent foot damage; low tops versus high tops, stiff sole vs. flexible soles, and so on. A review of the subject, based on recommendations of pediatricians, podiatrists, and orthopedic physicians now provide some guidelines. Children do not need shoes until they begin walking. A ten year study of children who wore sneakers revealed no long-term adverse results; most of the doctors surveyed believed that sneakers were adequate for children with normal feet. However children learning to walk while wearing sneakers slipped more often than those wearing leather shoes. There was no clear preference for high top shoes over low top. If the child continually walks out of his shoes or takes them off, high tops may be helpful. The authors caution that shoes should be tried on both feet before they are purchased. The shoes should be shaped like the child’s foot, and not curved in at the toes. Shoes should be long enough to allow one-half inch between the end of the child’s big toe and the end of the shoe. If the parent cannot feel this the shoe may be too stiff, and should not be purchased. Shoe soles should be soft enough for the parent to flex the shoe with one hand. (Pediatric Nursing 13(4) 230-232, 271, July-August, 1987) Copyright Phylis Austin

Childhood tics, caffeine

July 26, 2009

Tics (involuntary repeated spasms of a group of muscles, twitching) in children may sometimes be eliminated by removing caffeine from the diet. Tics impact up to 24 percent of children; medications given to control tics may have long-term adverse effects.
Pediatrics Electronic Pages 101(6)e4, 1998
Copyright 1998 Phylis A Austin

Fainting

July 26, 2009

A person who feels faint may often prevent fainting by yawning or raising their arms over their head. These movements increase blood flow to the brain. (Bottom Line Health, May 1998, p. 11)
Copyright 1998 Phylis A Austin

Vitamin C, cognitive impairment

July 26, 2009

Vitamin C may protect mental function as a person ages, according to a report from Australia. Earlier studies showed that high vitamin C intake was associated with better memory. (American Journal of Epidemiology 148(1)45-50, 1998)
Copyright 1998 Phylis A Austin

Nose drops, upper respiratory infection

July 26, 2009

A group of 74 children, ranging in age from three weeks to two years, seen for upper respiratory tract infection were divided into three groups: one group was given saline nose drops, the second group received medicated nose drops, and the third group no nose drops. On follow-up there were no differences in the three groups. The authors of this study concluded that the use of medicated nose drops was not necessary in the treatment of rhinitis or upper respiratory tract infection. (Helv Paediat Acta 39:341-345, 1984) Copyright 1984 Phylis Austin

Fruit juice, childhood diarrhea

July 16, 2009

Parents who urge their children to use excessive amounts of fruit juices may induce chronic diarrhea, which may even retard growth. Up to 15 percent of children suffer episodes of chronic non-specific diarrhea, whose cause has not been understood.
Apple juice may contain as much sugar as a soft drink. Sorbitol, a sugar in juice, is known to produce diarrhea and stomach cramps if taken in large amounts. Dr. Robert Essenman, chief of pediatric gastroenterology at the Hamilton, Ontario McMaster University Medical Center, instructs parents to limit milk intake to no more than 24 ounces a day, and fruit juice to 6 to 8 ounces. Water may be taken freely. (Medical Tribune 29(19)12, July 14, 1988)
Copyright 1988 Phylis Austin

Sunshine, Vitamin D, infants

July 16, 2009

Vitamin D levels are increased in infants exposed to the sun. A 30-minute exposure per week with the infant clothed only in a diaper, or a two-hour exposure per week for a fully clothed (without hat) is felt adequate to maintain satisfactory vitamin D levels. (Journal of Pediatrics 107(3)372-376, 2001)
Copyright 2001 Phylis A Austin